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How Texas Educators Train Before Arming Themselves At School

Aug 14, 2018
The Texas Tribune

PFLUGERVILLE — A gaggle of reporters clustered last week near shelves of picture books and signs marked "Love" and "Read" in the Windermere Elementary School library.

Then shots rang. The reporters jolted back, their iPhones shaking in surprise. A gunman ran through the hallway until he was shot down by a masked educator.

Eric Gay / AP

Plans to upload blueprints to the internet for 3D-printed guns are on hold as lawsuits crop up around the country seeking to control their distribution — and as with any new technology, the law is playing catch-up.

Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

A special Texas Senate committee devoted to fighting school violence has recommended improving mental health resources for students and increasing funding for a program that arms some members of school staff, but shied away from any measures aiming to limit access to guns.

David J. Phillip / AP

Texas schools have been adding metal detectors and armed personnel in an effort to improve campus security in response to the deadly May attack at a Houston-area high school that left eight students and two teachers dead.

Among the steps that Texas apparently won't be taking anytime soon is tightening restrictions on gun access for people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that prevents the publication of online 3D blueprints for plastic yet deadly guns.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said the untraceable weapons — which bear no serial numbers and can be printed from directions downloaded from the Internet — could end up in the wrong hands, The Associated Press reported.

Getty Images/iStockphoto/belekekin

An Austin company decided Tuesday against publicly releasing digital blueprints for making guns with 3D printers in light of legal challenges from multiple states. Not long after, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that would have blocked it from doing so anyway.

Update: A federal judge in Austin has denied a request by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and other gun control groups to block Defense Distributed from posting plans for making 3D-printable guns online. 

The Brady Campaign called the ruling disappointing, but said the fight wasn't over and urged the State Department to act.

Shutterstock

A coalition of gun-control groups has filed an appeal in federal court seeking to block a recent Trump administration ruling that will allow the publication of blueprints to build a 3D-printed firearm.

Courtesy of Karen Almond

After months of research, interviews and rehearsals, the teen actors of Dallas' Cry Havoc Theater Company are performing their original play about guns and gun violence in America.

A major change that aims to keep more weapons out of the wrong hands is in the works for the FBI's gun background check process.

Examiners will be given access to a large, previously untapped database of more than 400 million records as they determine when gun purchases can go through nationwide. But for the survivors and victims' families of the 2015 church massacre in Charleston, S.C., the change did not come soon enough.

A 41-year-old Austin man has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a black teenager. Jason Roche allegedly shot Devonte Ortiz, 19, after an argument over fireworks in the early morning of July 4. According to an affidavit, Roche claimed the shooting was in self-defense, but witness testimony and cellphone video conflict with that account.

Dane Walters / KERA News

At Hamon Hall inside Dallas’ Winspear Opera House, volunteers sort through some 7,000 donated shoes on the floor. Sneakers, flip-flops, high heels, hiking boots, baby shoes.

Gun violence, says Bart McGeehon, “touches us all.”

Heather Claborn / KACU

Leaders from the “March For Our Lives” group, formed after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, will visit Texas next month to register young voters ahead of the November general election.

State representatives on Monday will begin discussing whether a "red flag" law giving courts the ability to remove guns from a person considered dangerous would work in Texas.

In the wake of the Parkland high school massacre, there's been renewed interest in "red flag" laws, which allow courts and police to temporarily remove guns from people perceived to pose a threat.

The new research offers insight into the laws' effect — and it may not be what you think.

"Although these laws tended to be enacted after mass shooting events, in practice, they tend to be enforced primarily for suicide prevention," says Aaron Kivisto, a clinical psychologist with the University of Indianapolis who studies gun violence prevention.

As Texas debates what, if any, steps should be taken to prevent mass shootings in the state, we asked our audience what questions they had about guns in schools.

A common question was whether why regulations on automatic weapons differ from those regulating semiautomatic ones:

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to curb school shootings has embraced an idea championed by an El Paso Democrat, State Rep. Joe Moody. The idea is called a “red flag law.”

Moody says his proposed legislation calls for a mechanism by which a person who is in crisis, and poses an eminent danger to themselves or others when guns are present, would lose access to their firearms. He says similar laws exist in other states, and at the federal level.

Michael Mond/Shutterstock.com

Governor Greg Abbott's recommendations for increased school safety stems from the May 18 deadly shootings at Santa Fe High School near Houston. The tragedy and the debate over guns has had Dallas resident Aasim Saeed thinking back on his time at the school. 

The main focus of a roundtable discussion at the Capitol on Wednesday was finding ways for schools to identify violent students before they commit mass murder.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is hosting three roundtable discussions this week in response to the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. The first roundtable, held Tuesday, focused on "school and community safety."

The meeting was private, but afterward Abbott read reporters “a list of suggestions and ideas that came out of" the discussions.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today convened the first of three roundtable discussions on "school and community safety" in response to Friday's school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

In a closed door meeting, Gov. Greg Abbott sat down with fellow lawmakers and other experts Tuesday afternoon for the first day of scheduled roundtable discussions on school safety and gun violence following a massacre at Santa Fe High School last week.

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

After 10 people were killed by a student firing a shotgun and a .38 revolver at Santa Fe High School last week, Gov. Greg Abbott's re-election campaign has dropped a shotgun giveaway from his website.

February's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead and 17 more wounded, horrified people across the country, spurring student walkouts and marches in support of stricter gun control laws, including universal, comprehensive background checks and a ban on assault weapons. But gun debates in the United States have proven to be contentious and intractable.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Dallas City Hall Plaza had plenty of foot traffic Saturday, first from students and gun reform advocates in the morning — and later from counter-protesters in the early afternoon.

Both demonstrations were planned in light of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, held across the street at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio (left); Krystina Martinez / KERA News (right)

With the National Rifle Association's annual meeting kicking into high gear today in Dallas, KERA sat down for Friday Conversations with two women on opposite sides of the gun debate. 

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Victims of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting and their parents are criticizing the National Rifle Association after it announced that gun advocates won't be allowed to bring weapons to watch Vice President Pence deliver the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action's leadership forum keynote address in Dallas on Friday.

The NRA says the ban was ordered by the U.S. Secret Service.

Carlos Morales
KRTS Marfa Public Radio

Thousands of Texas students — from Dallas to El Paso to Houston — walked out of class last week to protest gun violence. The National School Walkout was the latest anti-gun violence protest since February, when 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

A disability rights group in Texas sent out a survey last month, trying to figure out how many of its members became disabled by gun violence. The group, ADAPT of Texas, says it's an effort to collect data that will help inform Texas lawmakers about how they should legislate guns.

Bob Kafka, an organizer with ADAPT, says when gun violence occurs, particularly mass shootings, the public tends to have a pretty limited discussion about what happens to the victims.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Students in North Texas participated in a national walkout in protest of gun violence on Friday, which marked the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

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